*WARNING PICTURES IN THIS POST MAY BE GRAPHIC FOR SOME. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED*
It has been an eventful couple days at clinic. The 0530 wake ups are not made easier by music from the near by university playing at 0300. Breakfast is our most promising meal of the day with Spanish omelettes, toast, the brick of bran, and fresh bananas. Every other meal is down hill from there. More on that later.
Becca and I have been responsible for caring for the individuals who come into clinic with wounds. These vary from burns to old crater like wounds that haven’t healed for weeks, lacerations or simple superficial abrasions that only require polysporin and a bandaid.
All of our wound care supplies are provided by donation only, so resources are limited since we don’t have a stock room or a wound care specialist to consult, we have to be frugal with our supplies and be creative in how we use the wound care luggage.
Some of our crazy ones we have seen include a baby who suffered burns to his bum, things and calves. This burn was the cause of a cooking accident with the open fire in the home. Something we are not accustom to.
Today we had a twenty year old girl who came in with a severe burn to her ankle. She was in so much pain she couldn’t even speak. The burn was infected and was covered in pus and yellow slough was beginning to dry. We couldn’t just put a dressing over top of infected tissue and hope she didn’t go septic. After soaking the wound we slowly and carefully removed the slough. We encouraged her to come back so we could assess the wound and dressing further. We can only hope she comes to a future clinic day and the antibiotics she recieved will help prevent the spread of her infection.
One of the sadder things we have seen is a baby who came in with hydrocephalus. The mom was recommended by the doctor for the 3 month old to have an MRI. However it cost too much money so the baby was unable to get this diagnostic test. By now the baby’s head was very large, eyes were sunsetting and level of consciousness on the Glasgow Coma scale was definitely decreased. The next free session for health care to receive similar services is not until June. Unfortunately there was nothing we could do for this baby besides telling the mom that the death of her baby is possible. Seeing hydrocephalus in my practice as something treatable and then seeing it as something as a death sentence was very frustrating.
However it hasn’t been all sad. The kids are adorable and the village members have continued to be grateful for the care they receive. Playing Simon says and soccer with the kids have shown the true innocence of a child. The simplest things like walking like a rooster and making a fool of myself puts a smile on their faces, as they remind me they don’t have shoes to walk home in after the monsoon of a rain storm.
Four clinics down and seven more to go. Super excited for what tomorrow brings.